Mike Alfoni is a former campaign director and a veteran of over 70 political campaigns, ranging from local RCV measures, to statewide ballot measures, to federal races at all levels. His focus has been on contested and challenging races. He has never lost a general election, and he has helped elect several members of the House and Senate and has won dozens of statewide initiatives. Mike transitioned from political management to act as a strategic consultant for organizations ranging from Fortune 500 technology companies to local non-profits. His latest political victory was winning the enactment of RCV in Benton County, Oregon in 2016. He continues to advise ongoing RCV efforts in several US states.
Douglas Amy is a leading expert on electoral voting systems, including proportional representation, redistricting issues in the United States, and the plight of third party candidacies. His books on this subject include Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen's Guide to Voting Systems (2000) and Real Choices, New Voices: How Proportional Representation Elections Could Revitalize American Democracy (2002), which won the George H. Hallett Award from the American Political Science Association.
Amy's most recent book is Government Is Good: An Unapologetic Defense of a Vital Institution (2011)—based on his website of the same name. The book and website detail government's crucial role in improving Americans' lives and promoting the public good. Amy also takes on the major criticisms of government put forward by the anti-government movement and shows that most are exaggerated or just plain wrong. He argues that democratic government is one of the main ways we work together to pursue the common good and make the world a better place.
Eric Ashman is the COO of Group Nine Media, one of the world’s largest digital-first media companies. Mr. Ashman has served as the Chief Financial Officer at Huffington Post, and previously served as the Global COO / CFO at Text 100 Public Relations.
Eric has a passion for building companies, putting together great teams, and working with entrepreneurs. He’s led multiple fund raise processes of various levels of complexity, and bought and sold companies through a wide variety of M&A transactions. Over his career, Eric has built highly scalable operations teams from the ground up, and has led large technology, product and insights teams through the development of complex systems and tools. He regularly advises early stage companies and mentors entrepreneurs, and in the past has spent time as an adjunct professor at the NYU School of Publishing.
Jay Batson is a technology entrepreneur and founding CEO of Acquia. Having founded two other companies, and worked at several started by others, he's spent the bulk of his career creating value for young companies. From his engineering, product management, industry analyst, or founder/executive roles, he has learned how to help young companies discover product/market-fit, build great teams, acquire key customers to establish value, and raise the capital to accomplish all of this. He is a much-prized mentor with MassChallenge and Techstars and is on the board of several startups. Jay also spends a morning every week listening to pitches as a Sigma Prime fellow at the eponymous venture capital firm.
Evan Falchuk is an accomplished healthcare and political entrepreneur and attorney, who believes passionately in causing trouble -- for good causes. In 2014, he founded the United Independent Party and was an independent candidate for Massachusetts Governor, earning over 70,000 votes. In 2015, he led the effort for a statewide ballot initiative to prevent the use of taxpayer money on the proposed Boston 2024 Olympic Games.
From 1994-1999, Falchuk was an attorney in Washington D.C. at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. From 1999-2013 he was the Vice-Chairman and President of Boston-based Best Doctors, Inc., a medical second opinion company that grew to nearly $200 million in revenue during his tenure and which was recently acquired for $440 million. Today he is the CEO of VillagePlan, Inc., a company that helps families navigate the many challenges of caring for an aging loved one.
Avi Green is the Executive Director of the Scholars Strategy Network, a nationwide group of university-based scholars working to improve public policy and enhance democracy. From 2006 to 2012, Avi was Executive Director of MassVOTE, an organization that works to reduce racial and economic disparities in voting and civic engagement in Massachusetts. Appointed by Governor Deval Patrick, Avi has also served on the Massachusetts State Ballot Law Commission and the Local Election District Review Commission.
Susan is the founder of Tech Networks of Boston, a Massachusetts Benefit Corporation employing 40 IT professionals who serve local nonprofit organizations while mentoring and supporting young people from economically-challenged communities. In 2012, Susan co-founded the Climate Action Business Association, a membership organization that elevates the voice of small businesses in the fight against climate change. Susan contributes her time and resources to many nonprofit organizations, including Cambridge Local First and Green Cambridge.
Frances Moore Lappé
Frances Moore Lappé is a long-time Massachusetts resident and legendary author. Lappé, author of 19 books, is best known for her 1971 classic Diet for a Small Planet, which The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History describes as “one of the most influential political tracts of the times." Gourmet Magazine named Frances as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats.
Though most well known for her food policy work, she has been a longtime champion of democracy reform. She has written multiple books on democracy in America, and has just finished co-authoring her newest book, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want.
Malia Lazu serves as the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Epicenter Community, whose mission is to create an urban environment that fosters maximum creative freedom. She has over two decades of experience establishing grassroots involvement in political advocacy and civic engagement, including founding MassVOTE and serving on the board of FairVote.
The passion and success of Malia’s work has earned her a reputation as one of the most insightful and critical organizers of her generation, and caught the attention of MTV, Showtime, ABC-TV’s Chronicle, Fox News, and print publications such as Newsweek, The Boston Globe, and Boston Magazine.
In addition to her extensive work advocating for our youth, Malia has managed campaigns for numerous tastemakers including Grammy Award-winner and famed Civil-Rights Activist Harry Belafonte, American novelist Walter Mosley, and Peter Lewis, philanthropist and Democratic Party donor.
Eric Maskin is a Nobel prize-winning economist and the Adams University Professor at Harvard University. From 2000-2011, he was the Albert O. Hirschman Professor of Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. Maskin has worked in diverse areas of economic theory, such as game theory, the economics of incentives, and contract theory. His current research projects include comparing different electoral rules, examining the causes of inequality, and studying coalition formation. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Econometric Society, and the European Economic Association, and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He was president of the Econometric Society in 2003.
Edwyn Shoemaker is the Civic Engagement Coordinator for two prominent civic organizations in Roxbury. The Madison Park Development Corporation's mission is to foster the social, physical, economic, and cultural renaissance of the Roxbury community. The RoxVote Coalition's mission is to educate, engage and empower Roxbury through civic activities. A former foster child, Edwyn is the acting President of Fostercare Alumni MA and is a National Foster Youth and Alumni Policy Council Member.
Pam Wilmot is the Executive Director of Common Cause Massachusetts, a post she has held since 2002, as well as from 1989-1993. Pam has been an advocate for government reform and consumer and environmental issues for over 20 years. She is a frequent commentator on Massachusetts public affairs. Pam also has worked for Rhode Island and MASSPIRG, the Massachusetts and Rhode Island Bottle Bill campaigns, Connecticut Citizens Action Group, and the Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board. She is a graduate of Brown University, Northeastern University School of Law, and Smith College School for Social Work.